“It was more of an opportunity to play in the big game in Atlanta against a program like Boise State, which was a national power at the time,” McGarity said.
Wearing alternative uniforms specially made for them by Nike — infamously called the Power Ranger uniforms — the 19th-ranked Bulldogs lost to No. 5 Boise State 35-21.
Tom Jurich, Louisville’s athletic director at the time, expressed disappointment in Georgia’s decision. With the help of ESPN, the Cardinals ended up getting North Carolina to the fill the void on their schedule.
Meanwhile, Georgia played Buffalo to open the 2012 season. That game saw a freshman named Todd Gurley make his college debut by returning a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
The latest deal to play Louisville comes at a time when the Bulldogs, like most Power 5 programs, are trying beef up their schedules with as many quality games as possible. In the age of the College Football Playoff — which may or may not expand — strength of schedule is expected to become an increasingly important factor for being included.
That philosophy is reflected in Georgia’s football scheduling going forward. The Bulldogs will open this season against Clemson in Charlotte in what’s expected to be a Top 5 matchup. Then UGA will play three non-conference Power 5 opponents plus eight SEC teams each year from 2026-31.
Louisville is now a member of the ACC. After parting ways with Bobby Petrino, the Cardinals are in their second season under coach Scott Satterfield. They were 4-7 (3-7 ACC) last year.
GEORGIA FOOTBALL VS. POWER 5
2021 – Clemson opener in Charlotte
2022 – Oregon in Kickoff game in Atlanta
2023 – at Oklahoma
2024 – Clemson in kickoff game in Atlanta
2025 – at UCLA
2026 – UCLA in Athens; at Louisville
2027 – at FSU; Louisville in Athens
2028 – FSU in Athens; at Texas
2029 – at Clemson; Texas in Athens
2030 – Clemson in Athens; Ohio State in Athens
2031 – Oklahoma in Athens; at Ohio State
2032 – Clemson in Athens
2033 – at Clemson